Recent Program News
December 2009—Lianas has published a new book:
Experiencias en Piscicultura Comunitaria: Contribuyendo a la Seguridad Alimentaria Amazónica (Experiences in Community Aquaculture: Contributing to Food Security in the Amazon).
The book is an overview of our fish farming program, focusing on each of the key elements in our approach. In addition to appropriate technologies and native fish, there are chapters on fish farmer researchers, extension through village-to-village training, and challenges that we face, both internal and external. Throughout, the book emphasizes empowering communities to address their own needs.
Experiencias en Piscicultura Comunitaria is being made available for free to interested communities and organizations in Ecuador.
October 2009—As indigenous leaders negotiate a draft water law with the Ecuadorian government, Las Lianas is participating and providing legal and technical support to the representatives CONAIE (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador), CONFENIAE (the Confederation of Indigenous Amazonian Nationalities) and ECUARUNARI (the Kichwa Confederation of Ecuador).
The government has accepted negotiations in response to mass mobilizations by Indigenous organizations demanding that access to water be protected as a basic right and there be no privatization of that essential resource. The indigenous movement rejects government proposals that would prioritize industrial uses of water and fail to guarantee access for all. Instead, they have called for a law that would recognize water as a human right, prevent its privatization or control by a small group, promote water distribution that ensures food self-sufficiency, and involve participatory decision making.
March 2009—The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), represented by a legal team including Bolívar Beltrán of Las Lianas, has challenged Ecuador's mining law before the Constitutional Court. CONAIE argues that the law is unconstitutional because it violates basic rights included in the constitution, including indigenous peoples' right to consultation regarding resource extraction in their lands, territorial rights, and the right to water and a safe and clean environment. The full text of the suit, in Spanish, is available here.
January 2009—This year, with support from Fundación Pachamama and Indio Hilfe, two Ecuadorian non-profit organizations, we are bringing sustainable fish farming to 13 communities in the southern Amazonian provinces of Pastaza and Morona Santiago. (See where we work.) We are working deep in the rainforest, near the Peruvian border. The only access is by air, flying in on small planes—some flown by the Achuar owned and managed transport company that Las Lianas helped organize and incorporate—to dirt runways built in small rainforest villages. Any outside materials we need are brought in ahead of time by canoe to reduce costs.
Participating communities belong to the Achuar and Shuar nationalities, both groups that we have been supporting in our Ancestral Lands program. Fish farming addresses community desires for sustainable development that is in harmony with their land management and rainforest preservation goals. This work builds on introductory training sessions we provided in 2008 in two communities, attended by representatives from many of the others.